Mélina Antuofermo and Emilio Di Meglio, "23 % of EU citizens were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2010", Statistics in focus, 9/2012.
23 % of the Europeans, thus 115.5 million people, are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. More than 40 % of Romanians and Bulgarians feel affected, against 15 % of Swedish, Czechs and Dutch. 19.3 % of the French population feels jeopardized as well. Young people under 18 are more affected than the rest of the population (26.6 % against 23.3 % for the 18-64 year olds and 23.4 % for persons aged 65 and more).
This indicator includes the financial poverty but also the living conditions and the employment intensity in the household. It is thus the result of figures concerning the living standard in the household as well as declaratory surveys on the living conditions. An individual is considered at risk of poverty or social exclusion if he or she lives in a situation underneath the threshold of one of these three categories. 16 % of the Europeans have an income level inferior to 60 % of the national median income, 8 % suffer from a major material shortage and 10 % live in households in which only little of the income derives from work salaries.
Although these figures are interesting they have to be studies with prudence, since they include various perceptions of poverty and social exclusion *. This is especially true concerning the observations on material shortages. According to a common definition, a person suffers such a shortage if four of the nine following conditions cannot be fulfilled : the possibility to pay bills and credits ; take a week of vacation outside one’s residence ; have a meal every other day including meat, fish or a vegetarian equivalent ; being able to face unforeseen expenses ; possess a telephone (landline or mobile) ; have a color television ; possess a washing machine ; and to be able to heat one’s accommodation sufficiently. The fact of counting not having a television or telephone as a factor for social exclusion may seem debatable… Other elements, such as the ability to face one’s bills, are less criticizable.
* For a more detailed discussion on the measurement of poverty and social exclusion, click here to read the article (in french) of Julien Damon on the homepage of the Observatoire des inégalités, "La pauvreté et l’exclusion sociale dans l’union européenne : 1,4 ou 24 % de la population ?"
|Click below to read the full Eurostat report, Mélina Antuofermo and Emilio Di Meglio, "23 % of EU citizens were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2010", Statistics in focus, 9/2012.|